Blossoms

“To be what I am… To voice the things that only I can voice. To bear the blossoms that are commanded of my heart. This is what I want…”~RM Rilke

Shadow flower (1 of 1)

Your voice is your expression and everyone has a unique voice which should be heard. It’s one’s own responsibility to cultivate that voice, through head and heart and then share it with others because a voice unexpressed does not provide a benefit to anyone.  And yet on the other side of the coin,  it is best not to waste it on a head that does not hear or a heart that does not care. In that case, silence is golden.

On a photographic note, this is a very severe crop (maybe 1/15th of the full file). I really love Fujifilm lenses and this kit lens is incredible.  I have yet to upgrade to a newer body and am still using the quite antiquated (for some) XE-1. One day, I will bite the bullet and get a newer model but I think I will wait a couple of years and see what new technology comes with time. I have learned that I do not need the latest and greatest new release of every piece of photographic equipment that comes out. Granted, if money were no object, I’d have purchased the newest out there but money is an object and right now, I can think of better ways to balance my wants and needs.

Sand

“I always say, if you keep your head in the sand, you don’t know where the kick’s coming from.” ~H Mann

Silence in The Sands
Silence in The Sands

I’m not sure you know where the kick is coming from, ever. I hardly ever bury my head in the sand yet have had my share. Life gives you lots of kicks and if you have not had kicks, you haven’t really lived. So, you get bruised and the bruises heal; you might be left with a scar but even that can fade with time.  I don’t know how to avoid life’s kicks nor would I really want to; a kick can be a lesson or a wake up call. But what I do know about a kick is that you can only be responsible for your own actions and that means getting up again from a kick and not letting it define you.

I’m dusting the sand off as I speak……

Purple

“And when I fall in love,” I began, “I will build a mountain to touch the sky. Then, my lover and I will have the best of both worlds, reality firmly under our feet, while we have our heads in the clouds with all our illusions still intact. And the purple grass will grow all around, high enough to reach our eyes.”~VC Andrews

Scabiosa (1 of 1)And when I fall in love…………..I will build a purple mountain to reach his heart.

Bare

My sorrow, when she’s here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be; she loves the bare, the withered tree; she walks the sodden pasture lane.

~ Robert Frost
Birch painting (1 of 1)

There is a certain beauty in gray, rainy days. We had one here in Prescott, AZ the other day. At first, the sky opened up and huge raindrops fell, hitting my skylight and sounding more like hail than drops of rain but drops of rain here, when they do come, can be more like dollops than drops. To me when it rains, it is kind of like Mother Nature saying to us: slow down, have a cup of tea, snuggle in bed a bit! At least that is how I see it; maybe I am just lazy. 🙂 But I feel poetry in the rain.

The above image is a technique that I try to perfect every so often when I see the opportunity in a composition. When motion blur is done well, it creates more of a painting than a photograph; identifiable subject matter but infused with mystery. The motion here is all in-camera, not a Photoshop blur. While I definitely believe in using post-processing to enhance an image, somehow doing this type of thing IN-CAMERA is like creating magic because it is done with your mind, body and instrument (camera) as opposed to just your computer program.  In some ways for me, it is like creating poetry within my camera.

Transform

“Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could. ~B de Angelis

Black Butterfly (1 of 1)
I am not sure if anything can transform you in a moment but if anything could, it would be love.

It is nice to see that a number of my blogging friends from the past are still here! I am sure that most of you have been much more consistent than I and I do admire that.  I am figuring on easing back into this blogging “commitment” and hoping to transform my inconsistency here. Yes, I always have to make the silly tie in between image, quote and my little blogging blurb. Who knows, maybe that will change in the future as I have yet to decide exactly how I want to structure the writings here but it will be somewhere between a personal diary and my mediocre musings. Some people are open enough to write truly personal things; I am not. Yet I believe that you have to let some of your personality shine through or it becomes too dry, unless you are doing something of a more educational nature, which has never been a goal of mine as my  mind is more like a jack of all trades, master of none! LOL My goal here has mostly been about sharing the image itself and if someone can enjoy that small thing, a glimpse of beauty, a moment of visual pleasure, that may well be enough for me to feel the blog is worth it. And truth be told, I have managed to free myself from the burden of wanting popularity and garnering hundreds of likes or followers. I find that more exhausting than fulfilling and it is too hard for me to keep up with and I actually think it is a hinderance to the artistic process of my photography. In the end, one’s artistic vision is a very personal thing and there is only one person you must please: yourself.

 

 

Rooster

” A rooster only crows when it sees the light.” ~ M Ali

Rooster in The Junkyard
Rooster in The Junkyard

 

What I have learned about the Fujifilm XE-1 so far: The kit lens is excellent, the camera is great, tones and color are very pleasing, its lightweight portability is appealing. And now for the not so good: it is a slow focus hence not great for action and capturing quick moments. All in all, my intention of buying was for hiking and mostly landscapes so the slow focus becomes a non-issue in that respect. Maybe I will build my Fuji lenses and when they come out with a full frame model and one that is better able to capture action, do a full change over. For now, it will be a 2 camera system, which is actually how a usually shoot anyway (2 Nikons, one with a long distance telephoto, one with a wide-angle).

There are things I am still adjusting to and my muscle memory is set for changing Nikon buttons so I keep going to adjust certain settings with those burned into my brain. And the whole viewfinder thing is more like shooting with a phone, although the XE-1 does have a hybrid system (both rear LCD and the more DSLR traditional eye option).  If shooting aperture priority, the aperture selection is on the lens ring….weird for me. I may just get used to using this only in manual focus and camera setting modes and break out of my norm. Many people seem to use the Fujifilms to shoot in jpeg, which I plan on taking a day to try out at some point in order to assess and utilize all those 35mm film simulations. The benefit to that is no need to process your images.  I guess that would be an limited option for me as I do like the control of shooting in RAW and then playing in Lightroom. If nothing else, the camera is keeping my brain active!

Needle

” You can always pick up your needle and move to another grove.” ~ T Leery

Needle Guide (1 of 1)
I believe this is a very old metal sewing machine needle dispenser but I am not quite sure!

I have another grove right now….a new camera.  It is new but an older model; a Fujifilm XE-1 mirrorless camera. It is quite retro looking; very pleasing to the eye. I have wanted a lighter hiking camera for a while now and it finally dropped to the price point of $50 more than the kit lens by itself. If a friend and I actually make it happen, I may be backpacking the John Muir Trail this September and a lighter set up would be a necessity.

The nice man in brown brought it to my door last night and this morning, I put on the strap, updated the firmware and then set out to shoot with it a bit. Does Maureen read the boring manual? No. Ummm, not the best idea!  This seems much more complicated to grasp than my Nikon. It is a completely different beast and I have yet to tame it. I guess it will come in time but right now, it is like a feral cat.  A sexy one (it is quite the looker in its silver and black vintage goodness).  It reminds me so much more of  shooting with a film camera, not only because of its appearance but in its output. We shall see if I can manage to become more intimate with it in the next few weeks but right now, I am a impressed, despite my feebleness of knowledge.

This guy probably knew how to work his camera....
This guy probably knew how to work his camera….

Take a seat, this may take a while to get the hang of!

test5 (1 of 1)

Door

” Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole world will be clean.” ~ JW von Goethe

granary door (1 of 1)
The Granary in The Artist Colony, Idle Hour, Oakdale, NY

This is down the road from where I went to college and it has a history, for sure.  Once part of William K Vanderbilt’s 23 acre estate, it was modeled after an English mews and contained a granary (shown above), pigsties, stables and servant quarters. Ah, the country life, a la a multi-millionaire! Post Vanderbilt, It was then converted to a bohemian artist colony, also called Midgetville for its small, short buildings.  I call it Munchkinland and although there are no underground structures that I know of, the feel when you are inside is that of a Middle Earth far away land and of time long ago and far away.  There are modern touches (oh, how I wish the door shown above was an original!) now incorporated here and there but the feel of history remains strong.